Some say it’s worst than beating, and leaves one with long-term mental and emotional scars. Remember, the Prophet ﷺ never raised his voice on a child, women, a friend or otherwise. Regulate yourself when you hear your voice starting to get louder. When the parent screams at the child, the child’s nervous system shuts down and the brain can’t absorb anything you’re saying. If you scream, or make mistakes (we all do), the best thing you can do is apologise to your child. You will teach them how to repair after making mistakes and how to take responsibility. If you struggle with apologising to your child because you don’t want to look small, you got some work to do.
Blaming weakens relations, lowers self-esteem and prompts children to be on the defense, even when they haven’t done something wrong. Anas b. Malik, then a 10 year old child, said: “I served the Prophet ﷺ for nine years and he never said about anything I did, why I did that, or about anything I didn’t do, why didn’t you.” When the only thing that comes out your mouth when addressing your child is criticism, blame, and orders and there’s very minimal praise, loving words, affection or fun you as a parent become a source of negativity for their child instead of someone they want to come to for affection or support.
3. Nonstop Order
Orders and instructions, without first convincing, persuading, educating, or leading by example, turn the child into a robot and this is not healthy. When growing up, they blindly emulate and obey any authority, regardless of its values. Balance out your orders with appreciations each day. Make sure you share more appreciations and positive moments than orders and criticisms in a day. The research shows the ratio of positive interactions to outweigh negative interactions is 5:1. That is 5 positive interactions to every 1 negative interaction. This is because as humans, the impact of hurt and pain lasts longer than happiness. Trauma has a lasting effect.
Threatening is used because it’s a quick fix for resistance, but not a solution in the long run. Any attitude driven by fear is hypocritical, and does not indicate real change. (Eg, go to bed or I’ll… or stop that before I get up and …) This is useless parenting and the child learns to do things only when their fear is increased. You are literally teaching them to threaten their way through life or to not do anything unless they are threatened.
Making fun of a child is an unacceptable behavior in Islam: “O you who believe let not a group scoff at another group… “(49:11). Mocking a child hurts their sense of worth and self-esteem. Any parent who mocks their child is displaying their major toxic insecurities that they need to work on. The parent needs to make their child feel safe, not tease and bully them.
Cursing teaches the child cursing, which he will use against others, including relatives, friends and parents. The hadith says: “A believer is never a defamer nor a curser nor coarse nor obscene.” What’s worse than cursing around your child is cursing and swearing at them.
Never compare your child to anyone, especially siblings. Comparing creates jealousy, anger and puts them on the defense. You are literally saying to your child that they, as a human, are not good enough and should be like others. They grow up with low self-esteem and never feeling accepted or good enough. They will excessively seek acceptance and validation from others even in unhealthy and harmful ways.
8. Continuous Advising
The normal attention span is 3 to 5 minutes per year of a child’s age. Therefore, a 2-year-old should be able to concentrate on a particular task for at least 6 minutes, and a child entering kindergarten should be able to concentrate for at least 15 minutes. In the hadith “The Prophet used to take care of us by preaching during some days and not others fearing that we may get bored.”
Not giving the child the benefit of doubt weakens mutual trust, shuts frank communication and hurts self-confidence.
In most cases, beating a child is about parents venting anger than wisely and calmly wanting to improve a behavior. Beating, similar to a pain killer, is a temporary fix only for the parent, not a cure for the child. It creates trauma and a coward personality, which will continue to do bad things as long as nobody is watching. Beating also teaches your child to be abusive or accept abuse when they become adults.
Source: Dr. Hesham Al-Awadi, author of “Children Around the Prophet: How Muhammad ﷺ Raised the Young Companions.